3/18/09

Happy News for Rocket People

There's some big news going around in the rocket community (I've heard this from about five different sources now). The rocketry associations NAR and TRA have been waging a legal battle against the BATFE (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives) for several years, which was recently won. Until now, ammonium perchlorate composite propellants (APCP) couldn't be obtained without a Low Explosives User Permit (LEUP, everything has an abbreviation), except for mid power rockets. Now, the rocket people of NAR/TRA has convinced the court that APCP is NOT that dangerous, and thankfully us safe rocketeers have one less hassle to deal with.

There are also a few other new regulations that give rocketeers a break. For mid-power rockets weighing between 1 and 3.3 lbs, you no longer have to request a NOTAM. That's nice, because I never did it anyway! (Don't tell anyone!)

However, there are a few regulations at the upper end of the spectrum that make it more difficult for rocketeers. It has to do with experimental rocketry over O power, and I don't know the details. However, (and government always does things backwards it seems) I do know that increasing regulations in the experimental category isn't as effective, because people in that field ought to know what they're doing at that stage! But oh well, it doesn't effect me yet.

1 comment:

R2K said...

Hopefully the LEUP for motors up to J or higher even never comes back. It is the single and only reason that, for the past 4 years, I have been unable to do high power at all.

If you live in New York, you are really out of luck if you plan to buy and store your own motors. So it is let someone else store them for you, or go low power. Add to this the $100 a year cost...

Anyway if LEUP goes away or gets modified in the right direction, I am back to high power forthwith. If not, it is mid power forever.

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